Monday, 21 November 2011

Driving and Paris

(Twice in one week, don't you feel loved? I wouldn't get used to it just yet. Things are bound to get manic again soon.)

I don't know what the road accident rate is like in Paris. I assume pretty high. (I'd look it up, but, well, I've had 3 hours sleep and I'm not really feeling like doing any actual research right now. I'm sure you'll cope.)

It is, however, a miracle that it isn't higher. Today I have nearly been run over by 2 motorbikes and 1 car, and I was on the pavement each time. This is largely because motorbikes - and bicycles, for that matter - don't seem to make a difference between such concepts as "road" and "pavement", except that the latter usually has less vehicles on it, so you can drive faster.

The car, in a staggering display of logic combined with inspiration, decided that while the one-way system was important enough to respect, it couldn't apply if you reversed up the road. So, on reaching a crossroads near my house and finding he couldn't turn left like he wanted, he turned right, driving over the curb and nearly hitting me standing on the pavement near the zebra crossing and then proceeded to reverse up the one-way street at full speed. This, naturally, couldn't possibly cause any accidents or even vaguely infringe on the law, because his car was facing the right direction.

I weep for humanity.


  1. I feel your pain!
    Even Toronto, the most safe and polite (read boring) of cities does not have bicycle laws, cyclists go from pavement to cross walk to road to the wrong way down a one way street.

  2. Paris does seem to have the worst drivers, I shudder each time we're anywhere near that area. I never thought Italian drivers would be beaten at their own game, but the French have managed it!!

  3. Oh, and btw, it's great to have you back!!

  4. In the UK we have cyclist laws and strict ones at that in london! I ride to work every week day and when i first started i used to ride in the bus lane as i have less chance of having a collision with somebody. Well in london if you get caught on the pavement, in a bus lane,or going the wrong way down a one way street you get a £50.00 fine from the cyclist and walking police in and around london.
    I was gobsmacked when i had to pay that fine on the spot. he even made me ride to the closest ATM, as i dint have that amount of cash on me.